In search of the perfect hill

Written by John Hayes on .


Kaitlyn Landram, 17

In my opinion, you are never too old to go sled riding. One day after school a few years ago I went to my friend Steph’s house in search of the perfect place to sled ride.
In years prior my friends and I loved to go down the highest, steepest hill in Boyce Park. It was perfect, until the county decided it was a safety hazard because there was a road at the bottom. They didn’t want to take any chances that someone would slide down into the path of a car. Thus creating the need for my friends to find a new place to sled ride.
Once Steph and I were all bundled up, we made our way outdoors and began exploring the woods behind her house. Jagger bushes struck us at every step, and burrs covered our coats as we hiked through the woods. Playfully, we ran for our lives in fear anytime we heard a sound — the leaves rustling was sure to mean that a bear was coming after us, and the birds were surely calling to alert the hungry animals of our location.
After what felt like an hour of hiking we came to an opening. The trees parted and opened up to a snow-covered area that seemed to stretch about a mile in both directions. We decided to march straight across the open area because my friend was sure that the perfect hill was right in front of us.
Sure enough, after about 10 minutes of walking we had found it — the dream hill for sled ridding (since the closing of the forbidden Boyce Park hill). It was long enough that it didn’t seem like a bunny hill to a couple of 15 year olds, and steep enough that it brought on that adrenaline rush. The bottom of the hill flattened out enough that we would slow down before running into the next area of trees, so we didn’t need to worry about getting hurt. It was perfect.
Once we had sped down it a couple of times a woman appeared at the end of the hill walking her dog.
“Get out of here! I’m calling the police,” she yelled.
The hill, she said, was private property and if we didn’t leave right that instant we were in big trouble.
Neither of us was very keen on getting arrested so we ran from the scene all the way back to Steph’s house. Once we were safely inside, the disappointment set in — we could never again sled down our perfect hill. We were not harming anything, the hill was unused, out of everyone’s way, and completely safe to sled.
I find it unfair that we have been stopped on multiple occasions from ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­sledding down hills I thought were open to the public. But I look forward to exploring some newfound land this winter in search of the next perfect hill.



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